Event Rules, Policies & Syllabus

The United States Dance Championships are conducted under the rules and regulations governing competitions and championships recognized by the National Dance Council of America, Inc (NDCA).


Pro/Am Showdance


TlTLES: Showdance titles, which are solo performance championships, may be danced in two divisions: Classic Showdance (Standard) or South American Showdance (Latin).

DANCES ALLOWED: In Classic Showdance (Standard) Championships, the dances shall be selected from the following: Waltz, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Foxtrot, Quickstep. In South American Showdance Championships the dances shall be selected from the following: Cha-Cha, Samba, Rumba, Paso Doble, Jive. You may choose only one dance for this event.


  1. SHOWDANCE COMMlTTEE: A Showdance Committee will be selected by the Technical Rules Sub-Committee to take care of the matters concerning Showdance.
  2. DANCES: In Classic Showdance events the dances must be selected from one up to all of the five regular Standard dances, and in the South American Showdance events from one up to all of the five regular Latin-American competition dances. Elements from other dances may be used to enrich and complete the choreography but the A-Note for technical merit will be based on the quality of the chosen competition dances.
  3. MUSIC: The invitation for a Showdance Competition must advise the couples of possible sound carriers. The sound carriers for a Showdance Competition will always be: (a) Cassette, (b) Compact Disc. For use of other sound carriers such as DAT, MlNl Disk, Reel-to-Reel and records, the organizer must be contacted will in advance of a competition, to check which of the sound systems can be provided. If there is a band/orchestra at the event, the couples may choose to use this facility under the discretion of the organizer. The music must show the rhythms of the dance to be performed and should be clearly recognizable to the adjudicators.

4. TlME: The time of the Showdance music must be between 2:45 and 3:30 minutes. The time limit must not be exceeded under any circumstances. A time limit exceeded leads to direct disqualification.

5. HOLD: In the Classic Showdance Section, the following minimum of a hold is required: a. The man holds with his left hand the lady's right hand. b. The man places his right hand on the lady's back. c. Any deviation from the hold is only allowed for 20 seconds for anyone time. Once a couple has deviated from the normal hold, the dancers must maintain the retaken hold for at least fifteen seconds, before they can deviate again. The maximum amount of possible deviations during a Classic Showdance is four times, excluding the beginning and the end. Due to the normal buildup of music, a piece of 20 seconds is allowed, before they have to take the hold. The same applies to the end of the show, where they can release the hold for 20 seconds prior to the finish.

6. LlFTS: Three lifts are permitted for the whole performance. These can be performed anywhere in the show. Each lift must not exceed fifteen seconds. Rule X1.B.5. is also in full use in case of any lift being fulfilled.

7. PROPS AND DRESSES: No props are permitted during entrance, performance and exit. Choice of dress for man and lady can suit and complement the theme of the show, but must be in Ballroom or Latin style.

8. lNVlGlLATOR: For every Showdance competition or any competition where Showdance is a part of a competition there must be an invigilator, who has the task to watch over the rules, and has the right and the duty to disqualify couples violating the rules.

9. THE COMPETlTlON: Conditions including lighting must be the same for all couples throughout the show including entrance and exit. Preceding every Showdance competition, or those where Showdance is involved, there must be an official rehearsal, where all the couples have a reasonable time to test their show on the actual floor where the competition is taking place. For the rehearsal to music the sound engineer of the competition must be present and helpful. To attend the rehearsal is an obligation for all couples, the chairman of adjudicators and the invigilator. In the case of rule violations during the rehearsal, the invigilator must give the respective couple notice, so they have a chance to adjust their show for the competition. Violation of the rules in the actual competition leads to direct disqualification. Performances that are against common moral taste or on religious subjects in any other than the original religious idea have to be banned from performing in the competition through the invigilator. The couples will walk onto the floor with the period not to exceed fifteen seconds. At the conclusion of the actual performance, the couples may take their bows, and walk off the floor with a period not to exceed 30 seconds. For the exit the couples can use music. The time length of the exit music is strictly limited to the same 30 seconds. During entrance, performance and exit the couple must be alone on the floor.

10. ORDER OF DANClNG: Order of dancing shall be drawn by ballot, at which all the competitors or chosen representatives have a right to be present. In competitions where the show is an additional dance, the order will be drawn in two sections. a. Between the couples being placed 4,5,6 and lower in the preceding five dances. b. Between the couples being placed 1,2,3 in the preceding five dances.

11. MARKlNG SYSTEM: Two marks will be given for each show throughout the whole competition, and will be based on adjudicating each performing couple individually and not to be judged by companson: a. Technical Merit - the technical quality of the dancing. b. Artistic Impression (1) Choreography (a) Is it used to express the music to it's fullest extent? (b) Is it using the theme of the music if there is any? (c) Are there clever and musically related ideas used in the choreography? (2) Originality of the idea (a) Related to music. (b) Related to choreography to the particular music. (c) Related to theme ideas (choreographically, performance, choice of dress). (3) Entertainment to the public c. The range of marks must be from 5.0 up to 6.0 as the best mark. Two couples can have the same marking. The two sets of marks will be added together and a placing allocated to each couple from each adjudicator with the highest total receiving first place, etc, i.e.: each adjudicator's combined marks converted into first to sixth place. In the event of a tie on the adjudicator's marking sheet, the better A-Note decides the result. In the case of visual marking, only the A and B-Notes will be shown. In the event of a tie on the adjudicator's marking sheet, the better A-Note decides the result. In the case of visual marking, only the A and B-Notes will be shown. In the event of a tie, the Skating System shall be used.